Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 32(2), 2012, pp. 186-195.
All propagandists by definition want their side of the story to be the first draft of history, and then to have that first draft used as footnotes for the rest of time. By equal definition, all propagandists want to de-legitimize anything that contradicts their version of events. This is the job of a spin-doctor, and such an individual (or institution) cannot be ethically or morally blamed for meeting their job description. In spinning a story, they are merely doing their job. In contrast, journalists covering a crisis are supposed to be wary of dramatic press releases and partisan reporting, balloon stories and disinformation, as well as blatant lies. Sadly, this was not the case for much of the Western reporting on the Karabakh “story” of 1991–1994. The sheer weight and availability of reference material for student or scholar looking into those events today remains lopsidedly in favor of the Armenian version. In this paper we will analyze how the Armenians won the Karabakh war of information hands-down, defining what happened in terms of where, when and why. Arguably, of even greater importance, how they managed to define the basic terms of reference that are used to frame the conflict. Indeed this demonstrates the efficiency with which the Armenian spin-doctors achieved their informational aims and by the same measure how inefficient the Azerbaijanis were in achieving theirs.